MENTOR GARDEN ZEN
What is the nature of living within our culture without genuinely embodying our Original Nature of Universal Loving Presence? Living through a partial and fragmented image of reality, falsely assuming that it is the totality.
The result of this influence is physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual insecurity on a spectrum. There's a common theme in our society. It tends to reflect the idea that we are somehow lacking. How many times have we thought we're "Not good enough," perhaps "Stupid," damaged goods, or not worthy of love, kindness, or compassion? The mind's narratives of guilt, shame, resentment, and blame are its "Rumination," practice, which is its version of meditation. They lend to a sense of being broken as a person, instead of having the awareness that when we're misaligned or in disharmony, we tend to do broken or self-destructive things. What arises within us is an urge for relief. We can end up looking for outward "Fixes," trying to have a sense of connection and relief, no matter how temporary. In this way, suffering becomes not only the national pastime but our shared religion. Verify it for yourself... just pause, breathe, listen, notice, and discern.
What is the nature of Zen practice? De-radicalization and detoxification; from greed, hatred, and delusion from the mind's unstable influences, projected towards self and so-called others.
These are manifestations of varied insecurities that the temporary wave known as the ego holds. What is noticed through the depth and clarity of Zen is our Oceanic nature; that neither comes or goes, cannot be harmed or contaminated. This inherent and indestructible force is known as "Jiko," (自己)... Universal Identity of Loving Presence that is our very DNA.
As Nyogen Senzaki once stated, "Zen is not a puzzle; it cannot be solved by wit. It is spiritual food for those who want to learn what life is and what our mission is in this world. Mere scholarly pursuits will never lead to realization. Zen is not so much a religion as it is the essence of life itself, the naked truth of the universe, which is none other than the experience of Original Presence.
One who feels uneasy in their inner life can come to Zen and find clear understanding and real joy. Zen does not propagandize. There is no need. All will come, sooner or later. Some will come from the literary class, along with some deep thinkers. Sorrow and struggle may lead others to Zen. But however you come, however you are led to Zen, you must come with a clear conscience and a pure heart. You must come with a desperate desire to see life as it really is; and must not permit anything to keep you from this, no matter how many blind alleys of religious creeds you may have stumbled into in the past.